Music education hub

This page has information for schools, parents and students on the music hub in Northumberland.

Information on current events and reminders

Instrumental Tuition - Direct Billing Schools

If you would like your child to learn a musical instrument and they attend one of our direct billing schools (The Duchess's High, King Edward VI School, Morpeth Middle Schools, Dr Thomlinson Middle School, Abbeyfields First School, Burnside Primary School), then please register online at 

For further information please call 01670 624045.


Instrument & Equipment Sale

Click here to view the latest list of instruments & equipment we have for sale.

School Games 2018

Music Partnership North were once again invited to bring students to perform at the opening ceremony for the Northumberland School Games at Cramlington Learning Village.

Students from St Wilfred's Primary School Blyth opened the event playing a selection of music on their trumpets followed by singing students from Newsham Primary School. The school games was then officially opened with students from Barndale House Alnwick on Samba.

Though the day was very warm the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves performing to the participants throughout the day.  We are all looking forward to next year!


Bedlington to Ashington Brass

On the 25th May 2018 Woodhorn Museum came alive to the sound of youth brass bands. Over 400 children from across the Bedlington and Ashington school partnerships came together to celebrate the work that has taken place in their schools during a three year brass regeneration project. 

Through the life of the project students have received weekly tuition on cornets, trombones, baritones and tenor horns. On the 25th May they all came together for the first time to play at an open air performance like no other!

“Music Partnership North is committed to enriching the lives of all children and young people through engagement and participation in quality music activities; enabling progression to excellence through a variety of musical pathways.”

Music Partnership North is one of 122 music hubs across England set up to support and enhance music education for children and young people in their area in line with the aims of The Importance of Music: A National Plan for Music Education (NPME).

In Northumberland we are part of the Music Partnership North hub. This is a partnership between:
  • Northumberland County Council music service
  • Newcastle City Council music service
  • Sage Gateshead
We are the music education hub for Northumberland.

Our aims are:
  • to provide a range of musical activities for all children and young people, including those in challenging circumstances
  • to support and develop progression routes for all students, enabling them to fulfil their potential
  • to work with local communities and educational establishments to support and enrich opportunities
  • to provide continuing professional development and training to both school based and Music Partnership North staff
  • to be committed to the support of musical activities in early years settings
  • to support the aims of The Importance of Music, A National Plan For Music Education, available here, ensuring every child aged five to 18 years:
    • has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument
    • has the opportunity to perform as part of an ensemble or choir
    • has the opportunity to progress and improve their talent 
Please find below links to policies and guidelines for Music Partnership North - Northumberland.

Information on how we work with schools, students and parents to provide a quality musical experience.

Music Partnership North look to engage with all Northumberland schools through a variety of different pathways. We work closely with other partner organisations to ensure that we provide tuition and advice of the highest quality and best value.
Music Partnership North provides an extensive range of instrumental, vocal and class music tuition to schools in both Northumberland and Newcastle. We deliver quality tuition on traditional instruments such as Northumbrian pipes and accordion through to guitar, brass, strings, keyboard, vocal, percussion and woodwind.

Contact details for the designated link officer for your school partnership is listed below:

Jacky Craig
School Partnerships: Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Cramlington

Tel: 01670 624040

​David Francis
School Partnerships: Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Ponteland, Prudhoe, Seaton Valley

Tel: 01670 620525

Richard Johnstone
School Partnerships: Alnwick, Amble, Berwick, Morpeth 

Tel: 01670 624047

Lessons normally take place during the school day and are rotated whenever possible so students do not miss the same lesson each week. The cost of tuition will vary from school to school and is dependant on factors such as group size and the number of lessons each term.

Please check with your school to see what tuition is available and cost.

It can be hard to choose which instrument to start playing. Here are some tips which may help you decide:
  • Find out which instruments are available at your school. Sometimes schools will organise a demonstration to help students decide.
  • Listen to different music in different styles and genres. Look on YouTube or go to a local concert or event. This may help you to find an instrument you like.
  • Ask if you can visit a local community band or group to listen to the instruments and talk to the members about their instruments.
We have a number of instruments for hire with a termly rental charge, currently £22.50 per instrument, which is collected via school.

Parents will be expected to ensure that the instrument is insured against damage and / or theft. The instrument will be supplied in working order but parents will need to replace supplementary items such as valve oil, strings, reeds etc at a later date.

If you need further advice about tuition or instrument choices, please contact the office on 01670 624045.
Click here to view the terms and conditions associated with instrumental and vocal tuition offered by Music Partnership North.

Click here to view and print an Agreement Form between School and Parents for the hire of instruments.

For more details on current insurance replacement values, please telephone the office on 01670 624046.
Whole class ensemble tuition (WCET) usually takes place in a first or primary school on a weekly basis. A Music Partnership North tutor, alongside a member of staff from school, will deliver music tuition to a whole class to give every child the opportunity to play a musical instrument.

Participating in performances is an integral part of being a musician, and our WCET projects are designed to include performance opportunities, either within school, or as part of a wider performance with other schools.

Click here to watch our young musicians showcase at The Alnwick Garden 2017.

How do we set up whole class ensemble tuition in school?
Please contact the designated link officer for your school partnership to discuss this. 

Click here to view a case study by Herefordshire Music Service, looking at the link between pupils who have been part of a WCET project and their progress in reading, writing and maths.

The music education grant is used to subsidise whole class ensemble tuition.  Schools can apply for a project through the Service Level Agreement at a greatly reduced cost and each project, where applicable, includes a full set of instruments.

Projects last up to 3 terms and will end with a class or sometimes joint schools performance.

To view the 2018-2019 SLA document and link to the online application form click here

If you would like to see our supporting SLA documentation then please click here for the Appendix.

With the launch of The Importance of Music, A National Plan For Music Education (NPME), schools can decide their own curriculum. A key part of our work involves working with schools and early years providers to support them as they develop, plan and deliver their music curriculum.

We can provide specialist teachers to deliver some of the music curriculum, or to work alongside the classroom teacher to develop their skills.

For further advice and information on how we might help your school please contact the designated link officer for your school partnership:

Jacky Craig
School Partnerships: Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Cramlington
Tel: 01670 624040

​David Francis
School Partnerships: Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Ponteland, Prudhoe, Seaton Valley
Tel: 01670 620525

Richard Johnstone
School Partnerships: Alnwick, Amble, Berwick, Morpeth,  
Tel: 01670 624047
Click here to access the revised 2017 School Music Education Plan (SMEP)


It is hoped that once a student has completed their initial whole class project they would like to continue with instrumental tuition, usually on the same instrument but increasing numbers of children opt to try a different instrument.


Sometimes schools may require support for a specific event or performance. This could be teaching techniques for singing as part of a show or musical, or preparation for GCSE or A-Level performance. 

We regularly run workshops in schools, which can support and enhance general curriculum work.  As part of our provision for gifted and talented vocal students, we will facilitate a number of workshop and masterclass days with specialist vocal leadership throughout the year.

Tyne Valley Tunes comes to Corbridge

On Saturday 10th March, MPN came to Corbridge to present Tyne Valley Tunes - a workshop designed to give young instrumentalists their first experience of playing in an ensemble. 25 children from 14 different schools took part.

The group learned and performed material along to backing tracks, supported by MPN tutors and led by tutor and composer Justin Radford. The children said that taking part had helped them improve sight-reading, learn how to stay in time and to play as part of a group. When asked what they had enjoyed most many said “Playing in a big group with different instruments” while one child enthusiastically replied “Everything!”

If you would like to be kept informed about future events please get in touch.



Many schools will offer financial assistance to students in receipt of pupil premium. Parents should enquire with their school in the first instance.  

Music Partnership North will offer free instrument hire to students having lessons with a Music Partnership North tutor who are eligible for free school meals or is a looked after child.

An amount of £30 per term is available to students having music lessons with a Music Partnership North tutor as part of a GCSE or other higher level course. It is expected that students will have attended a minimum of seven out of ten lessons to qualify.

Some organisations may offer grants for instruments or tuition. Please see the links below.
Awards for Young Musicians
Future Talent

EMI Music Equipment Purchase Funding
Music For All
Take it away scheme
EMI Music Sound Foundation

Instrumental purchase
If you decide to purchase an instrument you may be able to take advantage of the Assisted Purchase Scheme. HMRC will allow parents to purchase an instrument free of VAT if a student is having music lessons in school. All instruments must be portable and be taken to music lessons on a regular basis. Northumberland will organise these purchases on behalf of a student if they are having lessons with a Music Partnership North tutor within a Northumberland school.  Please click here for an application form and instructions on how to apply.

If you would like further advice please email:  (Northumberland)  (Newcastle)

Lead Officer
Jacky Craig
School Partnerships: Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Cramlington

Tel: 01670 624040

Deputy Lead Officer
​David Francis
School Partnerships: Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Ponteland, Prudhoe, Seaton Valley

Tel: 01670 620525

Music Co-ordinator
Richard Johnstone
School Partnerships: Alnwick, Amble, Berwick, Morpeth

Tel: 01670 624047
Senior Administrator
Lesley Scott

Tel: 01670 624045
Business Development Officer
Fiona Johnstone

Tel: 01670 624039
Administration Assistant 
Rachel Robbins
Tel: 01670 624046

Administration Assistant 
Charlotte Dyson
Tel: 01670 624046

Music Partnership North
Wansbeck Workspace
Rotary Parkway
NE63 8QZ

MPN Instrumental Tutors
Steven Ballantyne
Carly Blain 
James Boyle  
John Bradford
Matthew Browell
Stephanie Brown
John Buckton   
Richard Burns   
Alison Coates  
Andrea Devere
Stephen Doyle 
Heather Ferrier  
Ann-Britt Hedley
Stephanie Naisbett  
Annelise Nicklen
Frances Orde 
Flora Smith 
Justin Radford 
Christopher Reay 
John Reed  
Christopher Robertson  
Alison Rudd 
Julie Shevlin
Julie Silversides  
Emily Stephenson  
Robert Vallance  
Daniel Ward  
Heather Willshire
Jonathon Winter
This page is about ensembles and music groups and the ways that you can get involved.

We encourage all students to take part in music groups and ensembles, whatever their ability. Playing a musical instrument and performing with others is rewarding, enjoyable and a valuable skill. Exceptionally talented students are signposted to regional and national ensembles and events.

Click here to find out more about the ensembles we offer.

We can also offer advice and guidance for students contemplating further education in music. For all other enquiries relating to the ensembles, please contact

When students are offered places in a county ensemble, they’re expected to continue with their school ensemble too.

Do you play strings, brass, woodwind, drums or percussion?  Would you like to meet other young musicians and learn to play new and exciting music? Improve your playing in a fun and friendly environment and perform in concerts?  

We meet for evening rehearsals at Morpeth Methodist Church from 6.00-8.00pm.
New members will be asked to come for a short, informal audition.
  • Instruments: Strings, Brass, Woodwind, Drums, Percussion
  • Entry: Grade 3 or equivalent
  • Rehearsals: Morpeth Methodist Church, Howard Terrace, Morpeth, NE61 1HU from 6.00 - 8.00pm
  • Cost: £145 per year
  • Contact:
Additional Information:  Students are accepted into this ensemble at any point throughout the year.  
Please note that students are required to re-apply each year for membership.

Rehearsal & Concert Dates 2018-19 
11th October
15th November
13th December  Christmas Concert at Morpeth Methodist Church
10th January
28th February
21st March
16th May 
17th May  Gala Concert venue TBC

Weekend Residential Course 2018
November 24th & 25th 2018 at Broomley Grange


Do you play the fiddle, Northumbrian pipes, cello, harp, accordion, percussion, concertina, flute, guitar or keyboard?

The Northumbrian Ranters is made up of talented young traditional musicians from across Northumberland. Their aim is to promote and raise the profile of traditional music both in the county and further afield.

A quote from a parent:
"My daughter has had lots of fun with the Ranters – making lots of new friends – near and far.  The experience has been very important to her musical development – as a flautist, singer and performer.  Lots of opportunities -concerts, residential weekends and tours to Scotland and the USA – not to mention making a CD – amazing!

"As a parent, so many opportunities to watch and feel so very proud! Thanks to all the staff –  it would not have been possible without you!"

New members will be asked to come for a short audition as soon as applications are received.
  • Entry: Fiddle, grade 3 or equivalent. Flute, grade 5 or equivalent (for all other instruments please email the contact below)
  • Rehearsals: 6.00 - 8.30pm at Morpeth Methodist Church 
  • Cost: £190 per year
  • Contact:
Additional Information

This ensemble requires a high level of commitment as the group are involved in a substantial number of high profile performances throughout the year.

As part of the performance students are required to sing and will have the opportunity to participate in other traditional experiences such as clog dancing.

Rehearsals & Concerts 2018-19
4th October
25th October
29th November
1st December  Concert at Rothbury Church
24th January 
27th January  Performance at Wylam Winter Festival
14th March
25th April
9th May
17th May  Gala Concert venue TBC
27th June
6th July

Residential 2018-19
Seahouses Youth Hostel 10th & 11th November 2018

This ensemble is a community based project and membership is made up of both adults and students. We actively recruit students who have been involved in school based brass band projects.

Please click here to find out more about joining Bedlington Brass Band!


  • Instruments: cornet, flugel horn, tenor horn, baritone, euphonium, trombone, bass
  • Entry level: progression from the Bedlington Brass school mini-bands
  • About: this ensemble is sponsored by Bristol Street Motors (Ford) Morpeth, Vertu Group
  • Rehearsals: Bedlington Community Centre on a Tuesday evening from 6.00 - 6.45pm (sight reading and tuition session), 6.45 - 8.30pm full band rehearsal
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact:

Rehearsals 2018-19
September 18th / 25th 
October 2nd / 9th / 16th / 23rd  
November 6th / 13th / 20th / 27th 
January 8th / 15th / 22nd / 29th 
February 5th / 26th
March 5th / 12th / 19th / 26th  
April 23rd / 30th
May 7th / 14th / 21st
June 4th / 11th / 18th / 25th
July 2nd

September 27th Concert at East Bedlington Community Centre
December 13th Christmas Concert at Morpeth Methodist Church
May 17th Gala Concert venue TBC

The aim of the group is to encourage young piper's to share enthusiasm and skills with other pipers from across the county. Students will develop their skills through working with professional musicians and gain knowledge. They meet once every half term on a Saturday morning and is open to any student in full time education.

  • Instruments: Northumbrian small pipes
  • Entry: Minimum six months of playing experience
  • About: This initiative is made possible through the partnership working of MPN and the Northumbrian Piper's Society.
  • Rehearsals: Morpeth Chantry bagpipe museum on Saturday mornings 10am-12pm.
  • Contact:
  • Cost: £1 donation at each workshop

Rehearsals & Performances 2018-19
13th October
24th November
1st December performance at Rothbury Church
2nd February
23rd March
11th May
17th May Gala Concert venue TBC
29th June
We often work with schools to help them develop new ensemble opportunities for students according to need and to develop progression routes for their students.
There are many community ensembles in Northumberland, which give students an opportunity to play and mix with a wider range of individuals.

We recognise the importance of these ensembles and actively encourage students to participate in them. If you’re looking for a group for yourself or your child to play in, please contact us using the details below and we may be able to suggest one.

Fiona Johnstone
Tel: 01670 624039

We strive for the best opportunities for students to ensure they fulfil their potential. Exceptionally talented students are signposted to regional and national ensembles and events.

We can also offer advice and guidance for students contemplating further education in music. For all other enquiries relating to the ensembles, please contact Jacky Craig.
This page details current projects and external partnerships with cultural and community organisations to broaden the opportunities for the young people we work with.


Through funding received from Youth Music, Music Partnership North are currently running a three year brass focused programme with schools from South East Northumberland.

Through the WCET programme, year three students receive weekly whole class tuition on instruments such as cornet, baritone, trombone and tenor horns.  Students joint either a lunchtime or after school mini brass band which is based within their school.

Built into the project is involvement in high scale quality performances such as performing at Sage Gateshead, Woodhorn Miners Picnic and joint brass band concerts across the region.

The videos below show the students exploring Woodhorn Museum and the heritage of the mining industry through their Explore Arts Award.

Students are also encouraged to join either the project funded Bedlington Brass Band or other brass bands within the region. Our outcomes built into the project are as follows:

  • For all children within Ashington and Bedlington school partnership to have the opportunity to continue to play a brass instrument
  • To raise the standards of musical performances in young people through tuition, raising aspirations and involvement in new and existing brass bands
  • To encourage community cohesion through engagement in and appreciation of their local heritage
  • To develop a highly specialist brass coaching workforce, with an in-depth understanding of the brass band tradition through peer to peer learning
  • To recruit student to participate in the Arts Award programme

We’re pleased to announce Bristol Street Motors has kindly offered to sponsor the Bedlington Brass youth band and Bedlington Brass community band.

Bristol Street Motors, who are part of Vertu Motors PLC, already sponsor Dunston Silver Band and we’re looking forward to the bands working together to broaden their musical experience. Watch out for exciting developments in the future.

Click here to view the Vertu Motors press release.

Bristol Street Motors
The Children’s University is a national organisation that provides 7 to 14 year olds access to exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside of the normal school day.  These activities are known as Learning Destinations.

This programme rewards children’s participation through the National Certificates.  For every hour they take part in an activity they receive a stamp within their passport and these go towards their National Children’s University Award Certificate.  The graduation ceremony take place each year with friends and family invited to watch the children receive their certificates.

Students who are over 14 can also sign up to become a volunteer and there is no upper age limit so parents can get involved too.  The volunteer system runs alongside the student passport scheme with evidence and stamps being collected while gaining experience in volunteering and learning new skills.  For more information on this scheme please visit the website listed at the bottom.

As well as school based activities (after school, lunchtime or school holidays) Learning Destinations can include, but are not limited to, workshops, lectures, libraries, museums, sports and creative arts such as music.

Schools can sign up to become a member or parents can purchase their child’s passport independently at a cost of £5.  However, many areas within south east Northumberland have purchased passports for all the children within their school.  If you are unsure if your child is eligible for this please ask your child’s school before purchasing a passport.

Music Partnership North have signed up to become a member of the Children’s University and so students can now receive stamps for attending our ensembles, lunchtime clubs or large scale events.  

If your child has a passport and would like to have their activity evidenced and stamped then please contact Fiona Johnstone 01670 624039.

Leading Link manage this programme in Northumberland and for more information on purchasing passports and the support they can offer please visit their website:

For more information on the Children’s University please visit their web site:



                                   Reality Boots

   Offer for Northumberland and Newcastle Educational Establishments

Do your students need some inspiration?
Do you want to get them thinking and talking about politics, and unlock their musical potential?
Reality Boots are on tour, and are ready to bring their own musical shockwave to you.
Skimstone Arts is the only organisation in Newcastle that provide a space to create professional music, film and visual arts with opportunities specifically for socially vulnerable young people. Reality Boots are a band formed by some of the Young Artists we work with.
Reality Boots have developed a repertoire of hard-hitting songs exploring some of the issues around the rights of young adults, particularly how the voices of young people often fall between the cracks when it comes to political discourse, and how young people often feel they just don’t fit in with society.
Reality Boots is available for school visits and performances, Q&A sessions, and to deliver workshops on songwriting, live sound and recording software.
They will perform a set of original songs for your pupils, followed by a Q&A session wherein they provide insights into the making of their songs as well as their personal experiences as band members. They will then deliver your pre-chosen hour-long, inspirational workshop on either songwriting or live sound and recording.
Here is some feedback from last year's tour:   
“Alongside inspiring them to try something new I think that the stories shared by the musicians and artists who came in really impressed upon the young people here that there are positive fun things that you can do for free, and that no matter what they’ve gone through, they can still find something enjoyable and be a part of it. “
“I would rate it 10/10, I wish more people were doing things like this.”
“It was an excellent experience for us as an organisation and for our students. We could see that the work done by Skimstone is engaging, progressive, developmental and delivered professionally”
Workshops usually take place on Friday afternoon and the following dates are available; April 28th , May 5th ,19th & 26th , June 2nd , 9th, 23rd . A Thursday afternoon may be available by special arrangement.
The cost of a joint concert and workshop session is £150. For more information and to book a session please contact Peter Saaremets (Lead Musician) at



In partnership with the Royal Opera House, Music Partnership North are offering a limited number of schools the opportunity to sign up to this 10 week school based project.

Based on Bizet’s world famous opera Carmen, this KS2 singing programme will inspire a generation of school children to engage with opera through story, character and song.

The programme includes:
  • CPD day on the 26th January 2017 at St Cuthbert's Church Bedlington for up to 2 school members of staff with a director and vocal leader from the Royal Opera House
  • A 10 lesson scheme of work with learning outcomes and curriculum links to be delivered through the spring term
  • 2 models of support from Music Partnership North
  • Singing strategies and drama exercises
  • Online support
  • Specially created short films for guidance featuring Royal Opera House artists and Youth Opera Company
  • Online resources including backing tracks, arrangements for children's voices and additional digital classroom materials 

Models available:
£195 -  A member of MPN will provide five 1hr sessions throughout the programme to support  school sessions, end of project performance support and full telephone and email support

£350 - A member of MPN will provide ten 1hr sessions throughout the programme to support  school sessions, end of project performance support and full telephone and email support

School staff will be trained up in the skills of dramatic singing through their work with a song leader educator and a director from Royal Opera House and the support of an MPN singing tutor.

The skills learned by school staff can be transferred to all aspects of the arts such as school performances, plays and concerts.

The closing date for all applications is the 1st December 2017.

This page gives you all of the news from our music education department.

Ranters Tour to Derbyshire 2018

Over the Easter period the Northumbrian Ranters visited the Fosbrooks, a multi talented Fiddle and Clogging group in Derbyshire.

We visited Edale Primary and Lady Manners Secondary School, at Edale we squeezed the whole band into a tiny classroom to play to the school, it was memorable to see the children's amazed faces at the talent they were watching.

Lady Manners has a very successful music department where we organised workshops leading to a concert in front of the schools. The day finished with a visit to the Fosbrooks for a ceilidh, we were well received.

Saturday was a very busy day with a visit to a care home in Stockport to provide musical support, this was a moving experience for the whole band especially when we saw what an uplifting effect music can have to all ages. We finally met up with the Fosbrooks who were excellent hosts, we did a Northumbrian tunes workshop and they helped us with clogging and the highlight was creating a Ranters sword rappers team, watch this space for their performance. The whole day culminated in a joint concert which was a major success.

Click here to view Summer 2018 newsletter
Click here to view Spring 2018 newsletter
Click here to view Autumn 2017 newsletter

This page tells you about schools’ music curriculum and how the council supports them.

With the launch of The Importance of Music, a National Plan for Music Education (NPME), schools have the flexibility to decide what their music curriculum includes

We can help your school by:
  • supporting you in designing and developing your music curriculum
  • offering expert advice and guidance on a range of matters
  • designing a support plan in consultation with you, building on current practice to ensure high quality music provision
Support can be bought in on an individual basis, or through our service level agreement.
Our service level agreement offers a package of support to enable schools to achieve the aims of the NPME. For more detailed information on our SLA please click here

Curriculum delivery support
We can provide specialist teachers to deliver some of the music curriculum, or to work alongside the classroom teacher to develop their skills.

Schools that have bought into the teaching and learning package can attend any course free of charge. Alternatively, schools can buy into the SLA as a group and courses can be arranged within the partnership area.

For more information on any of these areas, please contact:

Jacky Craig
Tel: 01670 624040
Charanga can transform your curriculum delivery by giving you online access to hundreds of resources designed to enhance your lessons.

Schools across the country are experiencing the benefits and finding it incredible value for money. By purchasing the system through Music Partnership North, we can offer you a discount on membership.

Please click here for further information and to apply for a licence
Practical courses are run to help support curriculum delivery in schools. These courses are full of ideas to inspire and encourage, often with practical resources included.

Full day courses are usually run at a central venue, with twilight courses being delivered in different locations. Alternatively, we can run a course in your local area in partnership with you and can be focused on particular themes.

To discuss a course for your local area, please contact:

Jacky Craig
Tel: 01670 624040
Early years, primary and secondary network days are run through the year. They’re designed to keep schools and staff informed on musical issues, including current local, regional and national developments, policy and practice.

These usually include a practical element and are an opportunity for schools to keep pace with the ever-changing music education landscape.

Primary Network Day - East Bedlington Community Centre 27th March 2018
While this event is aimed specifically at Northumberland and Newcastle primary schools, cultural partners are most welcome to attend.  Some of the topics from the day will be music curriculum for primary schools, partnership projects and expectations of whole class ensemble teaching. Click here to find out more. 
We provide a range of opportunities for early years music making, including training in delivery, parent and child sessions and practical workshops.

We run an early years network day annually, often bringing in external providers to inspire your delivery through practical engagement.
Music Partnership North – Northumberland (MPN) are committed to providing a high-quality musical and cultural experience for all young people we currently work with and to those we hope to work with in the future.

Arts award supporter logoWe provide support and guidance at all levels of the Arts Award journey, through either direct coaching in a sole advisory capacity or supervision for students and joint Arts Award delivery with other cultural organisations through our Arts Award support role.

MPN delivers Discover, Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold Arts Award qualifications. Delivery of these programmes can be through either your involvement in a whole class instrumental or vocal programme in school, your membership to one of our ensembles, through a project delivered with our partners or through a standalone bespoke programme to match your needs. 

While our programme is predominately music, we are able to support you in any of your chosen art forms through our engagement and in-depth working with many cultural organisations across Northumberland. Through this, we ensure you receive an extensive and rewarding involvement in the arts.

Click here to read 'Arts Award & Music Education Hubs' Blog by Lead Officer Jacky Craig.
MPN is able to support organisations and predominantly schools in their Arts Award journey and delivery.

We can either deliver your Arts Award programme for you, within your setting, or we can work in partnership to deliver certain aspects/sections of the Arts Award portfolios thus reducing the workload while broadening the scope of the journey of the students.
Discover - start your arts adventure (around 20 hours to complete, ages five to 25 years)
  • Discover the arts around you and take part in different arts activities.
  • Find out about artists and their work.
  • Share your experiences with others.
MPN now give schools the opportunity to engage with all students involved in a whole class project to embark on this journey of discovery and is well suited to a short whole class project such as an arts enrichment week.

Explore – be inspired by the arts (around 25 hours to complete, ages seven to 25 years)
  • Take part in different arts activities and record what inspires you.
  • Explore arts organisations and artists.
  • Make art work to demonstrate your arts skills and creativity.
  • Share some of your exploration with others and record what you do.
This entry level one moderated programme is EQF level one accredited and is a starting point for SEND pupils or students who are not yet 11 years old but want to carry on with their Arts Award journey, following on from Discover.

Bronze – get involved in the arts and share your skills (around 40 hours to complete, ages 11 to 25 years)
  • Take part in an arts activity to develop your skills.
  • Experience the arts as an audience member and record your response.
  • Who is your arts inspiration and why?
  • Share your arts skills with others.
This level one qualification, EQF level two is equivalent to GCSE D-G grade and starts to explore the arts in more detail and focuses on the individual’s arts inspiration and sharing a skill. This is well suited to smaller groups of students or as a golden time reward programme.

Silver – challenge yourself and build your creativity (around 60 hours to complete, ages 11 to 25 years) 
  • Set yourself an arts challenge.
  • Review a show, exhibition or event and share your views.
  • Research an artist and arts activities.
  • Get involved in arts leadership, sharing your skills with others.
This is a level two qualification, EQF level three project and is equivalent to GCSE A*-C grade. This is a step up from the previous qualification and expects students to take more responsibility for their progress. This qualification requires a high amount of dedication and we would suggest delivering this with a smaller number of students.

Gold – drive your personal development in the arts (around 90 hours to complete, ages 11 to 25 years)
  • Extend your arts skills by gaining experience in a new field of the arts.
  • Get involved in the arts through volunteering, work placements etc.
  • Research and review high-quality arts events.
  • Make a case for an art issue that you care about.
  • Take responsibility as an arts project leader.
This EQF level four qualification, A-level standard, also carries 35 UCAS points. Gold treats the young person as a “young creative” and expects experimentation, opinions and an arts project. This requires a large commitment from the young person and the advisor. 
We can either provide full ownership of guiding the students through their arts award or provide support to schools or cultural organisations / venues to deliver part of the modules as required.

Example of student involved in a Northumbrian pipes project and completing their Bronze Arts Award portfolio:
  • Taking part – this student performed at the Woodhorn miners' picnic as part of this project: “I learnt a lot about the mines at Woodhorn about how the conditions were terrible and lots of people got very ill with TB. The air was full of coal dust. Not surprisingly, most people got asthma and were unable to work.”
  • Describe what arts skills you improved: “I believe that my ability has vastly improved as playing at the miners' picnic meant I practised more. Pipes is all about perseverance. I have done that and it has given me a brilliant opportunity to give myself more practice at playing on stage.”
David, aged 12
For more information, please contact Fiona Johnstone:
Music Partnership North is working with Artsmark to deliver high quality arts and cultural education.

Artsmark is the creative quality standard for schools and education settings, awarded by Arts Council England, recognising their commitment to high quality arts and cultural education.  Music Partnership North Northumberland is proud to be supporting schools and education settings on their Artsmark journey.

We offer education settings who are working towards, or currently hold an Artsmark Award, with all aspects of their musical creativity. We believe every child should have the opportunity to create, compose, and perform, as well as to visit, experience, participate in and review extraordinary work. That’s why Artsmark was created: to bring this ambition to life in every classroom.

Awarded by Arts Council England, the Artsmark Award will help schools and education settings deliver a high quality arts and cultural education and provides an excellent way to demonstrate this. Artsmark settings gain access to exceptional resources and the country’s most treasured cultural organisations through the Artsmark Partnership Programme, helping them develop and strengthen their arts provision.

All aspects of our work are designed to support schools on their Artsmark journey linking directly into the music curriculum and specific guidance can be given to individual schools on developing a musical programme that can have a positive and progressive impact across the whole of the school.   

Find out more about Artsmark at Artsmark

To find out how we can support your Artsmark journey, contact Jacky Craig 01670 624040